Once your divorce has been finalized, you may decide to start the next chapter by relocating. Planning for a move is always a big undertaking, but there are more things you must factor in as a divorced parent. Here are three important things to consider:
1, Discuss the move with your co-parent
This is one of the most important aspects of your decision to move. Yes, the marriage is over, but you are still parenting together. A move will still affect your family and the status quo of co-parenting.
The co-parent has to agree to the relocation. If they do not, the dispute could escalate into a family court matter, where the court will consider your reasons for relocating and how it will impact the best interests of your children.
2. Distance matters
You must carefully consider your needs and means before embarking on a relocation. Of course, it is necessary to consider questions such as:
- What is your budget?
- What is the cost of living?
- Do you want an apartment, house or duplex?
- How family-friendly is the location?
However, the distance between the new location and the other parent’s home is a critical factor to consider as well. Even if you are staying in North Carolina, distance makes a difference. If you are only moving a few miles away from your current location, it may not be necessary to modify the custody arrangement and parenting schedule. Even so, it is still necessary to discuss the relocation with your ex-spouse and update your address on any legal forms.
Moving farther away will require more thought, preparation and legal matters. In these cases, you likely will have to modify the custody order. It is often beneficial to consult experienced counsel if you are considering a further relocation so you can protect your parental rights and your children’s interests.
3. How can you help the kids?
Moving is a big change for you and your children, especially after a divorce. So, how can you make it easier for them?
It depends on your family and on your situation. However, one way is to help them embrace the change. Involving the kids in the process can help them feel like they have a say in their future as well. For example, if you are going on a house tour, bring the kids! Seeing the new area and their potential new home can help the whole family become excited about this new chapter.